Last week, our colleague Kathleen was at the Mountains of the Moon University (MMU) in Uganda with a Flemish delegation of Ghent University, VUB and Howest. The entire team had the opportunity to see PhD students presenting their research, visited some project sites and had meetings with representatives of the Austrian organization for international development cooperation (APPEAR) and the Embassy personnel in Kampala.
Last but not least, the delegation participated in a Joint Steering Committee Meeting where the focus was put on reporting and discussing some issues about PhD-students.
Kathleen visited two projects site visits within the IUC with MMU and two South Initiatives (SI).
The Kyembogo Dairy Development Center (KDDC) is an important part of the outreach programme of the IUC as it serves as a center for dairy training, demonstrations, education and research. Currently the center is still quite small but more activities will be organized, a larger group of animals will be kept and the area will be further developed.
The MMU radio was the second project to visit and is developing well. They even opened a second studio for training for the department of journalism and mass communication where students can practice and develop their skills. The audience of MMU radio is increasing so well that it can apply to become a public radio and to apply for state funding.
In the Rwenzori region, they visited two South Initiative (SI) at the School of Health Sciences. The first SI aims strengthening local capacities for supporting the quality of life of young people living with HIV/AIDS. Besides practice-oriented research and data collection a Whatsapp social media group was created for external valorization of the projects’ work and facilitate internal communication. Moreover, sensitizing and promotion have been taken over by MMU radio and other radios in the region.
The second one aims reinforcing family farmer capacity to improve crop storage and reduce food losses in the region. A training on Food loss assessment based on expertise from World Resources Institute and Ghent University was conducted and was well attended by 16 participants. This developed capacity at the local level enabled the subsequent food losses sensitization exercise, with promotion activities. The process to develop and broadcast a radio programme aimed at increasing community awareness of food losses as well as an avenue to promote food storage technologies to the wider community. These storage technologies are based on traditional techniques and local materials but executed with the necessary improvements. They remain simple and low cost, so that it can be multiplied by the farmers themselves. The project has also used the MMU radio to disseminate the project results and attract other farmers in the region.